It is June, but it’s not too late to start your own homegrown vegetable garden. It may seem that Mother Nature is playing tricks on us with the weather here in Ohio but starting a garden now is easier than you think and also very rewarding! With a little planning, preparation and few quick tips, you are on your way to growing fresh, organic, home-grown produce. Not only will you save money on groceries, you will know exactly what you are eating and may have a little fun doing it!
My daughter Ashleigh has been the true inspiration for this topic. After nearly three years of eating strictly vegetarian, spending valuable time in the produce section, she has sparked our interest to invest our time, money and energy into growing our own organic vegetable garden. One thing I have learned in motherhood is to embrace these moments. Embrace the moments spent together, learning together and having fun together. Together, I know it will be time well spent (not just running to the grocery store), an incredible sense of accomplishment, and valuable life lessons to carry with her into adulthood. And, we’ll have a little fun together!
Below are a few quick tips I used to get started. I recommend keeping a log of your gardening to help you to improve from year to year. Keep information about the soil that you used, the amount of rainfall/watering and the dates that you planted and harvested.
Quick Tips to Getting Started:
Tools you will need: gardening gloves, a garden fork, spade, hoe, garden hose and a wheelbarrow.
1. Research what crops do best in your area and go with the vegetables you love to eat!
2. If you haven’t started your seedlings it’s not too late. You can buy hearty sprouts ready to plant. When shopping for organic vegetables, look for heirloom varieties that are non-GMO. Plan to grow enough to cover your daily requirements.
3. I recommend starting with a raised garden box, starting small. Raised garden beds require less bending, less weeding, protect the plants, stop erosion and will help keep the little nibblers, such a rabbits, out.
4. Choose a high quality soil.
5. Determine the best destination for your garden. The best place will have at least 6 hours of direct sun and be within reach of a garden hose. [Click to Tweet]
6. Start a compost pile and use it to give the proper nutrients to your garden soil and cut the use of chemical fertilizers.
7. Don’t forget to water! Water your plants in the morning, watering the soil and not the greenery. A common rule is to water your garden an inch of water a week. I recommend setting out a rain gauge to accurately assess the right amount of water needed after a rainfall.
8. Wondering how you are going to keep those pesky bugs and critters away? Instead of applying chemicals I suggest an age-old remedy recommended by my Grandmother: an organic pest control consisting of 1 gallon of warm water, 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of Dawn dishwashing soap. [Click to Tweet] She recommends spraying the greenery weekly to ensure a good harvest. My Grandmother also advised adding crushed eggshells once a week to deter slugs. [Click to Tweet]
With all this in mind I encourage you to start a garden of your own! Don’t forget to water daily, fertilize weekly and most of all – reap the rewards of time well spent. I wish you a bountiful harvest!
What suggestions do you have for all natural alternatives to pesticides?
June 14, 2015
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
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Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
Teegen, Marta. Homegrown: A Growing Guide for Creating a Cook’s Garden. New York, NY: Rodale, 2010. Print.
TARA, SUSAN, GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND AND A VISION OF GREEN
“How and When to Water Your Garden.” – Vegetable Gardener. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 June 2015